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“Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that

David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the

sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.”

David about 50 yrs old; 1 Kings 15:4-5 overall evaluation of reign of David – Successful king with too much time on his hands. Complacent

Debate: King shirking his responsibility of military leadership in the field of battle?? Or was he justified to delegate this responsibility now that the borders were largely secured?

Weather = big factor in warfare – you wanted to be home for fall harvest; winter not a good time to do battle

City of Rabbah for the Ammonites had been defeated in Chap 10 but not wiped out.

Vulnerable when temptation arrived; not walking in dependence upon God’s grace; probably self confident over past successes – full of himself

Radio show: Turning Point – this was turning point in life and reign of King David = The Tumultuous Reign of King David


A. (:2) Entertaining Temptation – The Lust of the Eyes – Peeping David

“Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the

roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the

woman was very beautiful in appearance.”

Flat roofs; cool breezes

Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes …”

Matt 5:27-28 – famous President Jimmy Carter verses

The first look is not sin .. .just the presentation of temptation – how you respond is the key – how did Joseph respond to sexual temptation with Potiphar’s wife?

Flee youthful lusts

Cf. James 1:14-15

Proverbs chapter 5 and 7 later

B. (3) Checking Her Out — Background Check

“So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’”

Ryrie: Though a Hittite, Uriah must have worshiped Yahweh (the Lord), since his name means “Yahweh is my light.”

23:39 not just any common soldier but one of the mighty men of David; leader over a significant force; probably well off financially – lived in the high rent district of the neighborhood of the king – nice homes; high on the social ladder; had proven his loyalty to the nation and to the king; not someone who deserved such abuse

C. (:4) Committing Adultery

“And David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.”

David had plenty of wives – certainly very beautiful – why the need to take Bathsheba? Stolen waters are sweet / Sin is irrational – lusts of the flesh;

Why do I eat too much?? I like that extra sticky bun

Why would Bathsheba come to the king? Certainly very powerful request ..

She is not the central figure of the story; but still culpable

Lev. 15:18 – followed by section on menstrual uncleanness and purification

Why the scruples to follow this external requirement of the law when you had

just smashed one of the Big Ten of the Ten Commandments??

D. (:5) Facing Unwanted Consequences

“And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, ‘I am pregnant.’”

When you see the fall of public political figures or of people in visible ministry positions – seems sudden and so unexpected .. but the culmination of a pattern over time of smaller decisions of omission or commission – a decline in watchfulness

Only 2 possible reactions to sin:

– confess it and turn away from it

– try to ignore it or cover it up

You can’t undo it – I wish I could just go back and tee the ball up and play it again

Either we think:

– consequences will not hurt us

– consequences won’t be so bad

Sin is foolishness


A. (:6-8) Setting the Stage to Trick Uriah

1. (:6) Summoning Him from the Battlefield

“Then David sent to Joab, saying, ‘Send me Uriah the Hittite.’ So Joab sent Uriah to David.”

Winter: David called Uriah back from the battlefield in an effort to have him in Jerusalem at a time when the public would think that the child born to Bathsheba was fathered by Uriah. It was the desperate effort of a desperate man to cover up his sin.

2. (:7) Faking Concern

“When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war.”

Pretending to be concerned and wanting a status report when all he wanted was a pretext to hide his sin

3. (:8) Manipulating the Circumstances

“Then David said to Uriah, ‘Go down to your house, and wash your feet.’ And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him.”

You can be sure the present included some strong drink.

Ryrie: wash your feet. A contemporary idiom meaning “spend some time at home.”

B. (:9-11) Single-Minded Focus and Dedication of Uriah

1. (:9) Rejecting the Invitation

“But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.”

Was Uriah suspicious? Rumors circulating?? Text just takes the high road here; loyalty to remain identified with his troops in battle

2. (:10) Being Interrogated by the King

“Now when they told David, saying, ‘Uriah did not go down to his house,’ David said to Uriah, ‘Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?’”

3. (:11) Putting the King to Shame

“And Uriah said to David, ‘The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.’”

Would that King David had such a commitment – this is why it seems like there was something wrong for a healthy king not to lead his troops into battle but to stay at home in ease and comfort

C. (:12-13) Second Attempt to Trick Uriah

1. (:12) Delaying His Departure

“Then David said to Uriah, ‘Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.’ So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the rest.”

2. (:13a) Dulling His Alertness

“Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk;”

3. (:13b) Duplicating the Results

“and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.”


A. (:14-17) Insidious Plot to Murder Uriah

1. (:14-15) Insidious Plot Concocted

a. Urgency of the Insidious Plot

“Now it came about in the morning”

b. Mastermind of the Insidious Plot

“that David”

c. Medium for the Instructions – Dangerous to put it in writing

“wrote a letter”

d. Minister of the Murder Plot – Loyal enough to the king to carry it out

“to Joab”

e. Messenger for the Murder Instructions = the Victim Himself

“and sent it by the hand of Uriah”

f. Modus Operandi

“And he had written in the letter, saying, ‘Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.’”

2. (:16-17) Insidious Plot Carried Out

a. Integrated into Overall Battle Strategy

“So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, “

b. Putting Uriah in Harm’s Way

“that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men.”

c. Predictable Engagement

“And the men of the city went out and fought against Joab,”

d. Collateral Damage

“and some of the people among David’s servants fell;”

e. Murder Accomplished

“and Uriah the Hittite also died.”

B. (:18-21) Dirty Secrets Give Joab Leverage

1. (:18) Overall Report

“Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war.”

2. (:19-21a) Tactical Mistakes Could Anger the King

“And he charged the messenger, saying, ‘When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king, and if it happens that the king’s wrath rises and he says to you, Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebe? Why did you go so near the wall?’”

3. (:21b) Ace in the Hole is Joab’s Protection

“then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

Joab has “Get Out of Jail” card he can play at any time

C. (:22-25) Expedient Mindset of King David

1. (:22-24) Carefully Crafted Communication of the Report

a. Following Joab’s Coaching

“So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell.”

b. Painting the Best Possible Picture

“And the messenger said to David, ‘The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate.”

c. Minimizing the Significant Losses

“Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king’s servants are dead,”

d. Highlighting the Primary Objective

“and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’”

2. (:25) Callousness of David to Significant Losses of Life

“Then David said to the messenger, ‘Thus you shall say to Joab, Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it; and so encourage him.’”


A. (:26) Required Period of Mourning

“Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.”

B. (:27a) Swift Consummation of the Marriage

“When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she become his wife; “

C. (:27b) Cursed Offspring from the Adulterous Relationship

“then she bore him a son.”

D. (:27c) Accountability Assessment by the Omniscient Judge

“But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.”